ARWA Apprenticeship Program

Why Apprenticeship?

Many municipalities and board leaders do not realize the time, knowledge and commitment needed to obtain the proper certification to ensure our rural systems have access to clean, safe drinking water. It takes years of on the job experience as well as education to obtain the proper knowledge and certification to properly operate a drinking water or wastewater utility. In addition, recent advancements in water treatment and supply technology have increased the skills and training needed to protect public health and the environment. The combination of on the job training and classroom education make the registered apprenticeship program an excellent fit for our industry.

Water & Wastewater Operations Specialist
Apprenticeship Programs

Water and Wastewater Operations Specialists are imperative to your community for access to clean drinking water and to ensure wastewater effluent is returned to the environment properly. But with close to 50% retiring in the next five years, communities will fail to prosper or eventually even exist if replacements aren’t put in place AND properly trained. A growing population and increased demand for water and wastewater treatment services plus an aging workforce will drive employment growth and qualified, certified Operations Systems Specialists will be in high demand.

The ARWA Apprenticeship Program prepares the apprentice for certification testing in either water or wastewater.

 Employer Benefits

  • Increase employee retention and advancement
  • Replace retiring workforce
  • Transfer knowledge from experienced operationspecialists to new employees
  • Ensure well-rounded and highly trained employees
  • Possibility of financial incentives to offset trainingcosts
  • Assistance in marketing and recruitment

 Apprentice Benefits

  • Earn while you learn
  • Make a real difference in the community
  • Gain practical skills you can take anywhere
  • Train alongside an experienced mentor
  • Job security (every community is required to have a certified Drinking Water or Wastewater Operations Specialist)
  • Become part of an extremely stable industry
  • More affordable than typical college pathways into the workforce

*Minimum Eligibility Requirements for Apprentices

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must possess a High School Diploma or GED
  • Must be capable of performing physical labor
  • Must submit to and pass a drug screen
  • Must submit to and pass a background check
  • Must have a valid driver's license

*Full Eligibility Requirements are contained withing the Apprenticeship Standards that govern this program and are located elsewhere. Contact our office to learn more.

Two (2) Components of Apprenticeship

1. On-the-Job Training (OJT): An apprentice is typically required to complete a minimum of 2,000 hours of structured on-the-job training (OJT). Apprentices are paid wages while participating in OJT.

2. Related Technical Instruction (RTI): Apprentices must also be engaged in classroom learning that supports their OJT activities. It is recommended that the apprentice complete at least 144 hours of related technical instruction each year. Typically, the employer pays the cost of the RTI, and often also pays wages for the time the apprentice spends in class.

ARWA Apprenticeship Seal